Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie's plot.
This movie is a fascinating look at raving right-wing fundamentalist Christians and their necessity to brainwash very young kids to do their bidding. It's also one of the funniest movies ever. Reviews claim the film is even-handed but I don't really know if that's for certain. What I do know is that the vast majority of the scenes are laugh-worthy as they all center around a hugely overweight woman ranting about jesus and praying for things like electrical systems and powerpoint presentations.
The movie is played off rather serious, but it's hard to watch it and not laugh. The filmmakers know that, because the editing is comedic and makes these people look like even bigger nutjobs than they truly are. As a documentary, the film more or less poses the question of if these people are good representatives of their faith regardless of whether their beliefs are true or not. There are other films like Religulous that attack religion for even existing on the basis that there is no god. The case with Jesus camp is really just exploring how cracked some people in the right wing American states can be. The editing and sound are great, including some really good cuts, some intermissions with a radio host, and strange usage of noise and bass sounds. When the film doesn't feel distant, it feels like a joke, at times scary because of how ridiculous it is.
The whole of the main woman who runs her Jesus camp's view is that Christians should be as radical and militant as the Islam states are, albeit one upping them because her faith is the one that's actually correct, naturally. The case with the film is that Jesus Camp isn't anything serious like the film implies, it's a bad joke, more or less something that just brainwashes the few kids that are in it and will likely turn them heavily in the other direction when they become conscious enough to realize it's nonsense. The case with these kids is that they're very young, 10 years old or younger. These zealots sing terrible music, speak in tongues (Hilarious) and smash cups to symbolize, I don't know but they could give those cups to the Salvation Army or something.
The centerpiece of the film is the fat leader herself, who displays all the attributes of a joke and at one point declares that if Harry Potter existed in biblical times, he would be put to death (Met by roaring applause) Movies like this should be a joke but they aren't, that's what makes it funnier. The movie doesn't really have much serious to say and it makes the good decision of not using a narrator to guide it. Instead it's just followed with razor sharp thing after thing to laugh at or grimace at. Seeing some of the kids obsessed over jesus to the point of fanatically breaking into tears is hard to watch. The whole movie can be hard to watch at times, and while it doesn't brutally skewer any particular subject, it makes a serious joke out of all the people who are actually in the film. The movie also suggests that a radical group of conservative Christians could take over America with the George W. Bush puppet, naturally we are a nation with a democratic president now, but the greater point is that everytime you push something in one direction there will be an upswing from the opposing party. Just as a mass of right-wing americans can induce a mass of left-wing Americans and vice versa, so most of these kids are probably going to grow up thinking religion is an absolute joke because of how severely it was forced down their throats at a younger age.
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